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Barriers to Zazen

Coming to a stream

Unable to cross,

follow its downstream direction

Able to forge,

enjoy its coolness and life pulse


Following bank or current


listen to the breeze

of the heart

一期一会 (ichi-go ichi-e)
一期一会, (ichi-go ichi-e) is a famous zen phrase, literary means “one time, one meeting”. Often this phrase is translated to  ”Once in a life time”. Each moment is unrepeatable and special in its own right. Appreciate this moment and focus on this special moment.

一期一会 (ichi-go ichi-e)

一期一会, (ichi-go ichi-e) is a famous zen phrase, literary means “one time, one meeting”. Often this phrase is translated to  ”Once in a life time”. Each moment is unrepeatable and special in its own right. Appreciate this moment and focus on this special moment.

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生老病死  (sho-ro byo-shi)

It was great to see Rev Ito attending zazen sitting this morning.

He talked about 生老病死  (sho-ro byo-shi). He has talked about this  word several time in the past. 

生 (sho) means born 

老 (ro) means aging

病 (byo) means sickness

死 (shi) means death

This word explain human life very simply.  

kinhin 経行 demonstration at Rinzai Hakone Zendo

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Kinhin 経行

Kugyo san talked about kinhin walking meditation.  After listening to our teisho, you can watch brief video on kinhin. Also you can read more about kinhin here.

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Coming Going

During today’s teisho, Kugyo san cited tanka by Kozan Ichikyo

“Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going —
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.”


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照顧脚下 watch your step

Kugyo san talked about forms of zazen at our zendo.

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生老病死 (shou rou byo shi)

Today, Rev Ito returned to our zendo first time after his surgery.   Rev Ito talked about his surgery and shou rou byo shi. 

生老病死(shou rou byo shi) originates from the Buddhist notion of the Four Sufferings:

  • Birth
  • Aging
  • Sickness
  • Death  

These are four sufferings people can’t avoid.

Kugyo san cited her poem for his return:

Our sensei is ill

The Sun on tatami mats came and went…and came back again

and so too his health and our joy having him back

welcome back sensei, welcome back roshi

Chuck and Stephanie who got married 10 years by Rev Ito also attended today’s session.

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Truth of path leading to cessation of suffering(道諦)

Kugyo san talked about Truth of path leading to cessation of suffering(道諦) of Four Noble Truths (四諦). She also talked about Noble Eighthold Path. You  can read more on Wikipedia.

Heron was at gardens this morning.

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Kugyo san talked about Truth of Cessation of Suffering from Four Noble Truths.

She cited Hiku by Sasabune.

梅雨明けて 初めて咲いた 池の蓮

tsuyu akete   hajimete saita     ikeno hasu

Rainy season ends—

water lilies in the pond suddenly open. 

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Kugyo san talked about Truth of Origin of Suffering from Four Noble Truths.

She cited poem by Mary Oliver ” I have Decided”

I have decided to find myself a home

in the mountains, somewhere high up

where one learns to live peacefully in

the cold and the silence. It’s said that

in such a place certain revelations may

be discovered. That what the spirit

reaches for may be eventually felt, if not

exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt. I’m

not talking about a vacation.

Of course at the same time I mean to

stay exactly where I am.

Are you following me?

poem written by Mary Oliver

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Four Noble Truths (四諦)

Kugyo san talked about Four Noble Truths which are regarded as doctrine of the Buddhist tradition.

  1. Truth of suffering (苦諦)
  2. Truth of origin of suffering(集諦)
  3. Truth of cessation of suffering(滅諦)
  4. Truth of path leading to cessation of suffering(道諦)

 read more about at wikipedia

Couple reminder about our zazen meditation at our zendo.

  • Our zazen meditation starts at 8:00am with striking of the han.  Please be at zendo early.
  • While sitting, keep you back straight.

Hakone Zendo June 2014 Schedule


Hakone Zendo will open for zazen sitting meditation on all Sundays in June at 8:00am. (6/1   6/8   6/15   6/22   6/29)

New students are asked to come 7:45am for orientation.

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"Zazen, what works for you"

Teisho given by Kugyo san during today’s zazen meditation. She also cited lylics from“QUIET FAITH OF MAN” by Bill Staines

A baby child is born along the highway
A tiny little thing upon the land
An okie with his dreams out on the byway
Lifts the tiny baby in his hand
The woman smiles a little smile of knowing
And whispers something softly in his ear
Perhaps a little prayer to help the growing
Perhaps a word of comfort through the fears.

You trust the moon to move the mighty ocean
You trust the sun to shine upon the land
You take the little that you know
And you do the best you can
You see the rest with the quiet faith of man.


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Teisho given by Kugyo.

Here is the poem she cited during today’s teisho from Essential Rumi

by Coleman Barks

-Only Breath-

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu

Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East

or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not

composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,

did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace

of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two

worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that

breath breathing human being.

From Essential Rumi

by Coleman Barks